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Sandra Chapman

13News Investigator - @SandraWTHR
Credit: WTHR

Peabody award winning Investigative reporter Sandra Chapman joined the Eyewitness News Investigators in December of 2003, where she has earned national, regional, and statewide awards for her reporting.

In 2017 Sandra helped WTHR make history by becoming the first local station to earn two prestigious George Foster Peabody Awards in the same year. Sandra and the 13 Investigates team uncovered lax enforcement by Indiana’s environmental regulators that allowed toxic contaminants to spread to neighborhoods across the state. The series entitled “Dangerous Exposure” led to renewed cleanup efforts in some cities and tighter environmental controls at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Sandra also won a regional Emmy award for her environmental reporting.

Sandra has also captured honors from the National Headliner Awards covering topics in public safety, education, medical science and the environment. Her most recent Headliner award came from her investigation into the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair. The State Fair Investigation also received top recognition from the Indiana Broadcasters Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, and IRE (Investigators, Reporters and Editors) named Sandra a Finalist. It was the second time Sandra’s was named a finalist by IRE. Years earlier her report "Ghost Drivers," uncovered the fraudulent use of social security numbers from the deceased to get fake licenses.

Sandra is a two-time recipient of the American Women in Radio and Television Gracie Allen Award. She earned accolades for her post-9/11 reports documenting the struggle of a local Hoosier who narrowly escaped the North Tower of the World Trade Center and for her work into the 1968 Carol Jenkins murder case, which prompted a witness to come forward in the 34-year-old murder mystery. In May 2012, Sandra became the published author of "The Girl in the Yellow Scarf," detailing the break in the case that led to the only arrest in the Carol Jenkins murder investigation.

In 2016, Sandra won a regional Emmy Award for Best Investigative Series for “Desperate for Answers.” The series revealed an alarming cancer rate for children (higher than the state and national averages) living in Johnson County Indiana. Sandra has also won Emmys for Research and for Best Single Investigative story. "Busted in Byrdstown" uncovered a government employee taking a city vehicle on vacation to a fishing hole in Tennessee on the taxpayer's dime. "Risky Call" uncovered an Ambulance Company putting business above patient safety. Extensive research uncovered a policy that did not require the company to call the closest ambulance during a life and death emergency.

In addition, Sandra has been awarded as the Best Metro Reporter (2012) by the Indiana Associated Press and Journalist of the Year by the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association.

Sandra's investigative reporting has also enhanced the lives of Hoosiers, by prompting changes in the law. Her work led to improvements with Indiana’s Sex Offender Registry under Zachary's Law, and better customer service at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Sandra came to WTHR after a ten-year stint at WISH-TV in Indianapolis. While at WISH, Sandra was an investigative reporter and a weekend anchor. Before that she worked at WICD in Champaign, IL where she was an anchor, reporter, and producer.

A native Hoosier, Sandra hails from Fort Wayne. Sandra graduated from Ball State University where she earned her degree in Telecommunications and was named the Outstanding Black Alumni in 2005.

Sandra is active in her community, having served on the Board of Directors at the Indianapolis Society of Professional Journalists, Dress for Success, Indianapolis and Friends of Bethany. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Indianapolis Church of Christ and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

In her free time, she enjoys family time with her three young adult children and husband and watching their favorite sports teams compete.